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Spar Proteas defend Diamond Challenge title in fine style

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South Africa sealed the defence of their Diamond Challenge netball tournament title in style on Saturday with a 73-44 victory over Zimbabwe at the Ngoako Ramatlhodi Sports Complex in Polokwane.

STILL CHAMPIONS: The triumphant Spar Protea team after winning the Diamond Challenge during day five of the Netball Diamond Challenge at the Ngoaka Ramatlhodi Indoor Sports Centre in Polokwane.

South Africa sealed the defence of their Diamond Challenge netball tournament title in style on Saturday with a 73-44 victory over Zimbabwe at the Ngoako Ramatlhodi Sports Complex in Polokwane.

The win made it five out of five for the home side, who have dominated the tournament from start to finish.

Despite being given a tough challenge by Zambia on Friday and Zimbabwe on Saturday, the South Africans have managed to win all their matches by more than 20 goals, It’s such a good feeling. I think the scoreline doesn’t really mean much. What means more is what we put on court today,” said SA captain Bongi Msomi, who was later named Player of the Tournament.

“Yesterday (Friday) we weren’t satisfied with what we did, so today the plan was to go out hard and implement our strategies. It’s been really amazing.

“As usual, there’s always room to grow but this was a great performance. I’m really proud of the girls,” added Msomi.

Earlier in the day, the SA President’s XII, claimed a 58-35 victory over Botswana to finish the tournament with four wins in five matches.

“I think we had a bit of a shaky start but the girls brought it together. It’s just fatigue that’s setting in – it’s been quite a long week for all of us,” said SA President’s XII captain Jessica Khomo afterwards.

“I think Botswana gelled well throughout the whole week and they were much more confident. I think it was one of the best performances they’ve put up here so they really came out strong today.”

In the day’s other match, Zambia claimed their third win of the tournament with a 68-36 victory over Namibia’s Desert Jewels, who will head home without having tasted success in Polokwane.

As a result, the Zambians finished in second spot in the tournament, with Zimbabwe taking the bronze medal.

Results:

SA President’s XII 58-35 Botswana Zambia 68-36 Namibia

South Africa 73-44 Zimbabwe 73-44

African News Agency